Cannondale have expanded the SuperSix Evo range for model year 2014, with the American firm's flagship race frame replacing the existing SuperSix across the collection.
The big news in Cannondale's 2014 range is the introduction of the all-new Synapse 'endurance' bike and we brought you the full Synapse line-up last week.
The SuperSix Evo, meanwhile, was unveiled in 2011 as an evolution of the SuperSix, and is Cannondale's frame for, in their words, "the serious road racer", used for most of the year by the Cannondale Pro Cycling team, who only switched to the Synapse, which places a greater focus on comfort, for the Classics.
Evo for everyone
The SuperSix Evo frame was previously only available on Cannondale's upscale models, starting at £3,499.99 - now they're offering a nine-bike range which starts at £1,699.99 and rises to £8,499.99.
All bikes in the new SuperSix Evo range come out of the same moulds, though it's worth pointing out the collection essentially has three tiers, with three different grades of carbon fibre used and the price rising accordingly. However, all three grades use Cannondale's BallisTec carbon construction, which uses high-strength, high-elongation carbon fibres to create a base structure which they say is strong, light and stiff.
The entry-level BallisTec Carbon frame uses a higher percentage of intermediate-modulus carbon fibres, the mid-grade BallisTec Hi-Mod uses more high and ultra-modulus carbon fibres to significantly drop the frame weight without sacrificing stiffness, and the range-topping BallisTec Nano uses nano-particle-infused resin to create a super-light - and super-expensive - frame. Claimed frame weights are sub-700g, 750g and 1,110g respectively.
"We are now offering the same handling and ride quality characteristics at an entry-level price point, it's just the frame weight that changes," Cannondale's global marketing manager, Jonathan Geran, told RoadCyclingUK.
Cannondale say the SuperSix Evo has been designed to provide the right balance of weight, stiffness, strength, compliance, handling and aerodynamics in a race-ready frame, so the geometry is suitably aggressive, whereas the comfort-focused Synapse has a slightly taller headtube, slightly longer wheelbase and slightly slacker head angle.
Key technologies include the SpeedSave micro-suspension seat and chainstays, designed to allow the rear wheel to track with the ground, and the SpeedSave fork, which weighs 315g and has a 1-1/8"to 1-1/4" tapered steerer with offset dropouts to build in more comfort without affecting handling, according to Cannondale, who also say the SuperSix Evo's small tube profiles have an aero advantage over oversized competitors.
SuperSix Evo range expanded to nine models
As a result, the SuperSix Evo range now includes nine models: one Nano, four Hi-Mod and four Carbon. Let's take a closer look at one of each.
The SuperSix Evo Nano Black Inc is the top-of-the-range model at £8,499.99. As described above, the frame uses nano-particle-infused resin for a claimed frame weight of less than 700g without sacrificing strength or stiffness.
The bikes comes in a stunning matte black and gold finish, with a suitably high-end spec which includes an 11-speed, mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace groupset, Cannondale Hollowgram SiSL2 crankset (53-39t and 50-34t chainrings are included in the package), Enve Smart 3.4 rims with Chris King R45 hubs, Schwalbe Ultremo tubs, Enve finishing kit and a Fizik Antares saddle.
The level of attention to detail is stunning, with gold detail featuring throughout, not just on the frame but the wheels, finishing kit and saddle, too.
The SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Dura-Ace, meanwhile, is, as the name suggest, based around a high-modulus frame and Shimano Dura-Ace build kit (though the chain and cassette are Ultegra).
Cannondale's Hollowgram Si 50-34t chainset, Shimano RS81 wheels, Schwalbe's new One clincher tyres (currently on test at RCUK), Cannondale own-brand finishing kit and a Fizik Arione saddle complete the look. Yours for £4,299.99 in a team build paintjob.
The new entry point to the range is the SuperSix Evo 105 for £1,699.99. That gets you Shimano 105 shifters, front mech and rear mech, Shimano Tiagra brakes and cassette, a compact FSA Gossamer chainset, Shimano R501 wheels shod with Schwalbe Lugano tyres and Cannondale finishing kit/saddle.
Finally as far as the SuperSix Evo is concerned, the Hi-Mod is also available as a frameset for £2,599.99.
CAAD10 remains in the range
Cannondale made their name making high-performance aluminium frames and the CAAD10 is the tenth bike in the long-standing Cannondale Advanced Aluminium Design range. It may be aluminium, but there's no compromise in geometry, and the CAAD10 is designed for riding fast.
Claimed frame weight for the CAAD10 is just 1,150g, making it lighter than some carbon fibre frames, and only 50g heavier than the entry-level SuperSix Evo frame.
"There has been a renaissance in high-performance aluminium," said Geran. "It's such a great material to ride."
The CAAD10 has been in the range since 2011 so it's due an upgrade, perhaps in model year 2015, and Geran said Cannondale's engineers are "always looking at where we can update some of the key features."
Back to the present and the CAAD10, which is made from 6069 hydroformed aluminium, borrows the SpeedSave technology found on the SuperSix Evo to build in more comfort, while oversized tube profiles and a tapered headtube are designed to offer plenty of stiffness to make it a viable alternative to carbon fibre.
There's just one CAAD10 bike in the model year 2014 range and Cannondale say the Shimano 105 build is their best selling road bike worldwide.
The £1,499.99 machine has Shimano 105 shifters, front mech, rear mech, cassette and chain, with a 53-39t FSA Gossamer chainset (compact option also available), Tektro R580 brakes, Shimano RS11 wheels wrapped in Schwalbe Lugano tyres, Cannondale finishing kit and a Prologo Kappa Evo saddle.
The more affordable CAAD8 also remains in the range, with four builds based around Shimano 105 (£1,099.99), Tiagra (£949.99), Sora (£749.99) and Claris (£649.99).
UK distributor: Cycling Sports Group